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Author Topic: iStock changing royalty structure  (Read 290006 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #500 on: September 09, 2010, 09:01 »
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I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

You're focusing on the level and missing other metrics.

I bet they're looking at Redeemed Credits per Download as a performance measure. And also Redeemed Credit per Image.

Better performers probably have higher numbers for both of these measures. And therefore they would want these people to submit more images.


lisafx

« Reply #501 on: September 09, 2010, 09:02 »
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This is most likely the case. At least one diamond as mentioned getting a personal phone call from an admin on the IS thread. I can only guess that they are soothing over the stock house contributors so that they will stay exclusive while not caring if the others leave.

They've also called a few diamond independents.  But as absolutely no compromise or improved deal was offered, it didn't do much to sooth any ruffled feathers...  :P

« Reply #502 on: September 09, 2010, 09:05 »
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I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

Maybe they extrapolated the credit-performance of a handful of people (or just one top person), came up with a figure of 1.4 M for 2011, and set the line there as a "stretch goal".

Alternatively, maybe this figure actually fits on an exponential curve, if you were to graph all of the credit sales levels versus commissions.  Sorry, I'm not enough of an Excel wienie to figure this out.  I'm not saying that would be a sensible policy, I'm only taking a wild guess as to their thought processes.

« Reply #503 on: September 09, 2010, 09:06 »
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They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.

lisafx

« Reply #504 on: September 09, 2010, 09:13 »
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I'd agree about the profits. But, if it was only about profits they wouldn't have set up a performance based model. A main goal of any performance model is that it automatically weeds out weak performers. They have effectively turned every contributor into a sales person that carries a quota. The more you miss your quota the less you make and eventually you leave because it's not worth it. The model makes you get rid of yourself rather than making them look bad by them getting rid of you. First prize is a Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is you're fired.

It's also probably more profitable to not spend operatings costs on poor performers. So in the end, it's all about profit anyway.

Brilliant Pauly!  Makes total sense.  I think you have summed up their intentions perfectly.  You're a lot smarter than that haircut makes you look ;)

The only antidote to the above will be if they end up losing customers.  We have to do whatever we can to make sure that happens!

« Reply #505 on: September 09, 2010, 09:18 »
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The only antidote to the above will be if they end up losing customers.  We have to do whatever we can to make sure that happens!


Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}

« Reply #506 on: September 09, 2010, 09:18 »
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They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.

Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.

« Reply #507 on: September 09, 2010, 09:25 »
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They have wanted to get rid of independents since Getty bought the place, and that's exactly what's going to happen.
Is that so? Some simple math leads me to the conclusion that IS makes much more money (84%) off small independents than off big time exclusives (60%) given the same amount of credits spent. That scenario (of kicking out the John Doe independents) doesn't make sense, logically.

Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.

As I understood many exclusives are pissed-off too

« Reply #508 on: September 09, 2010, 09:29 »
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Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.  Assuming exclusives' work sells better, due to better search placement or better quality or both, then the cost/benefit balance slides toward exclusives.  Heck, just the dollar or whatever they pay to PayPal MassPay whenever we ask for our money probably favors exclusives as well.

iStock seems determined to piss off independents.  I have to assume they've determined there's a financial benefit to doing so.
It surely cost the same to review a file whether it is from an independent or an exclusive and exclusivity does not place you higher in the search engine (other than Vetta). Independents also get paid a lot less commission so we only help Istock's desire for ever higherprofitability.

Istock are not trying to get rid of individual contributors __ they just want to pay everyone less and trouser the extra money.

bittersweet

« Reply #509 on: September 09, 2010, 09:29 »
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Quote
Cultivating or exploiting the community?
Thompson bristles when questioned whether iStock's size and market power might mean it's turning from cultivating its community of contributors to strip-mining it.
"There's no way we could do that," he said. "We have no motivation to watch our contributors go elsewhere. Unless we provide a fair royalty, that will happen."


A fair royalty?? Seriously??


http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}

« Reply #510 on: September 09, 2010, 09:30 »
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I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.

« Reply #511 on: September 09, 2010, 09:38 »
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I agree with Walnuts but actually not even Yuri will get the 1.4Million, so who are the good performers??

how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.

I have read this I guess in IS forum, and now here also Lisa said that not even Lisa Gagne can make the 1.4..

« Reply #512 on: September 09, 2010, 09:40 »
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It surely cost the same to review a file whether it is from an independent or an exclusive and exclusivity does not place you higher in the search engine (other than Vetta). Independents also get paid a lot less commission so we only help Istock's desire for ever higher profitability.

It costs the same, but I wonder if that image has the same value over time.  If they were to determine that the average exclusive's image generates more revenue than the average independent's, then the review cost of that exclusive's image is a smaller expense at the front end.  So independents represent a greater cost due to the reduced benefit, and getting rid of a bunch of them improves profit even as it decreases revenue.

« Reply #513 on: September 09, 2010, 09:41 »
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how can you make these statements? you don't know how much he sells and at what sizes, so you don't know if he does or doesn't.  

if he averages 10 credits per sale, and sells 140,000 photos in a year, then its completely plausible.  And thats only 12,000 photos per month for a stock photo machine that is legendary for being prolific - its completely plausible if I average 10 credits per image.

But Yuri doesn't "average 10 credits per sale" does he? As an independent (whose images are cheaper) it is unlikely that he averages more than 5 credits per file. At that rate he would have to sell 30K images per month.

« Reply #514 on: September 09, 2010, 09:44 »
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It doesn't matter whether Yuri makes the cut to retain 20% or not. He is one person (or rather company).

The statement that "the vast majority of contributors" will stay the same or be better off still is nothing but an obvious lie.

« Reply #515 on: September 09, 2010, 09:44 »
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Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.
Looking at my own AR over 5 years and credits spent on my shots, it's still very profitable. CanStockPhoto reviewers get 4ct per review, SS reviewers get 2 cents more. Assume IS pays 15 or 20ct. Assuming I had 500 rejects (quod non), that would have cost them 100$ over 5 years. Compared with well over 2000 credits spent by customers on my stuff in 2010 alone (of which they keep 80%), that's still a huge profit. If the placement costs were really the issue, they could charge a placement fee of 25ct per image, or throttle down the upload limits of contributors with an appalling AR, like DT does. I still don't see the business sense of all this, but maybe I'm thick.

« Reply #516 on: September 09, 2010, 09:48 »
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Maybe you're simplifying the math too much.  Look at the other side of the equation: the expense of reviewing.  Independents represent a lot more uploads, with lower limits but a lot more of us.  That likely means a lot more reviewer time, which is a direct expense.
Looking at my own AR over 5 years and credits spent on my shots, it's still very profitable. CanStockPhoto reviewers get 4ct per review, SS reviewers get 2 cents more. Assume IS pays 15 or 20ct. Assuming I had 500 rejects (quod non), that would have cost them 100$ over 5 years. Compared with well over 2000 credits spent by customers on my stuff in 2010 alone (of which they keep 80%), that's still a huge profit. If the placement costs were really the issue, they could charge a placement fee of 25ct per image, or throttle down the upload limits of contributors with an appalling AR, like DT does. I still don't see the business sense of all this, but maybe I'm thick.

I cannot add a lot but I have heard that IS pays a lot more for review..!

« Reply #517 on: September 09, 2010, 09:48 »
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It costs the same, but I wonder if that image has the same value over time.  If they were to determine that the average exclusive's image generates more revenue than the average independent's, then the review cost of that exclusive's image is a smaller expense at the front end.  So independents represent a greater cost due to the reduced benefit, and getting rid of a bunch of them improves profit even as it decreases revenue.
This a self-inflicted artifact or a self-fulfilling prophecy since exclusives have a better placement in the best match.

lagereek

« Reply #518 on: September 09, 2010, 09:49 »
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Talking about calls.  Ive had numerous personal calls and mails offering me blinding deals with contracts and everything (which in fact it is)  if I place an Industrial portfolio with them, obviously Exclusive.  Been tempted actually.
Well Im not too bloody sure anymore,  especially when sitting on another 2000 shots not uploaded not even done the PP yet.

best.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:51 by lagereek »

lisafx

« Reply #519 on: September 09, 2010, 10:02 »
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Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 10:09 by lisafx »

« Reply #520 on: September 09, 2010, 10:03 »
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I just canceled my audio exclusivity. I hate the fact that I have to wait 30 days until I become non-exclusive.

« Reply #521 on: September 09, 2010, 10:09 »
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I just wonder in what drugs are iStock and Greedy???
Welcome. We have been expecting you.  :P


See the new line in they history  ;D
In September 2010, Getty Images iStock Photo Brand announced plans to cut payments to contributors by as much as 25% starting in 2011, while claiming that it furthered the interest of those same contributors. Getty's motivation was greeted with skepticism by the iStock community.[4]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Getty_Images


LOL!

« Reply #522 on: September 09, 2010, 10:18 »
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Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.


Surfing through the enormous thread is a pain. I found three, though:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262

and this one, crying out loud:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822

helix7

« Reply #523 on: September 09, 2010, 10:32 »
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Oh man... it's taken me a good hour to catch up on things this morning. Word is traveling fast! CNET, twitter, blogs, etc.

One last thought and then I need to get back to work...

For all of the significant effort and protest on the part of the contributors, it's all for nothing if istock can continue to do business as usual, and they will do that as long as the buyers stick around. We're at a point in microstock where the size of the collection doesn't matter much. If they lose even 1 million images in the fallout, it won't matter.

The only way to make a statement here is through the buyers, and the only way I see we can get through to buyers is to convince them that not only should they support more ethical companies that properly compensate artists, but they can also save some money in the process by shopping elsewhere. I've been championing StockFresh throughout this entire discussion, and I'll continue to do so and make my image purchases there. I am hopeful that other buyers will do the same, as it seems to me StockFresh has the perfect pricing model and royalty structure. Buyers spend less per image than at istock, and we earn more per sale at the 50% royalty rate.

It's the buyers that matter. It's great that people are stopping uploads, deleting portfolios, etc., over at istock. If you really want to make a difference, though, convince even one person you know who buys at istock to take their business elsewhere. The best place to start is to let your designer friends know what's going on. Anyone working at a design agency, ad agency, any creative company. Tell them they can look like a hero to their bosses by suggesting StockFresh and saving the company money on stock image costs.

I don't know about you all, but I'm tired of istock. The restrictions, the low pay, and constant changes, the bug-ridden website and downtime, the constant issues, problems, and general frustration. On top of that, from a buyer's perspective the site is a nightmare. Varying prices, Exclusive content favored in searches, expensive premium collections, Exclusive Plus (why are those images more expensive?). I think it's time for a better solution.

This time next year, I'd love to see StockFresh in the Big Four, with iStock in the Middle Tier.

Let's do whatever we can to make that happen.

lisafx

« Reply #524 on: September 09, 2010, 10:45 »
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Actually this is happening right now. Many buyers are announcing in the iS forum that they will stop buying from iS if they don't change their mind.

Also, the news are spreading fast:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20015830-264.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20}


This is great news!  I am trying to troll through the 100 or so pages of the current thread to find buyers posts, but not having a lot of luck.

Anyone who finds a buyer's posting care to link to it or quote them here for all of us that are desperately trying (and failing) to keep up ???  

ETA:  Just started a new thread to try and organize buyer's opinions into one place.


Surfing through the enormous thread is a pain. I found three, though:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4613522

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4616262

and this one, crying out loud:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=252322&messageid=4615822


Awesome!  Many thanks to the three buyers represented here!  One of them isn't even a contributor.  Thanks Peresanz for posting the links.  Hop you don't mind if I repost them in the Buyers Bail thread? 


 

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